The Howard County Gateway Program is a county-wide alternative educational program for students who need a different and more individualized school environment. The program serves middle and high school students and provides more intensive supports and interventions than are available at their comprehensive home schools.
The population of the Gateway Program is typically around 100 students Gateway provides academic instruction, enrichment, and remediation, trauma- informed counseling and therapeutic support, and a positive behavior management system designed to help students be more successful throughout the school day. Students work with case managers on a regular basis to discuss successes and barriers with regards to academics and behaviors. In addition, the Gateway Program focuses on post-secondary goals, working with each student on an individualized plan for success after high school. Some students transition back to comprehensive schools, while many students remain at Gateway until graduation.
Entrance to Gateway
The GSST (Gateway Student Support Team) process acts as the point of entry for students entering the Gateway Program. A committee reviews referral packets submitted by comprehensive schools who have recommended students for an alternative placement. Prior to requesting an alternative placement, the comprehensive school has implemented multiple interventions through their own SST (Student Support Team) but have determined that more supports and/or a smaller environment may be needed. Stakeholders, to include the student, families, central office alternative education staff, comprehensive school representatives, as well as the staff at Homewood, meet to plan for the student’s individual needs as he/she enters the program.